Clare’s Fianna Fáil TD has hit out at the National Transport Authority for “unnecessarily” cutting jobs at a time of deep economic uncertainty.
Cathal Crowe has been commenting in light of the news that Clare Bus has lost the contract for its service, putting 25 jobs at risk and leaving the future of their company under a shadow of doubt.
The blue and yellow Clare Bus buses have been travelling the roads of this county for the past 17 years but for the past 12 months, the future of the service has been in doubt.
Last year, the not-for-profit local transport company lost the contract for the operation of its routes.
While Clare Bus continued to serve its routes from its Feakle base, the management of the service was taken over by Limerick Clare Local Link.
In December, the company was the successful bidder in a tendering process which saw it retain the contract ro run the bus routes.
But now, the entire contract has been pulled with the National Transport Authority saying Clare Bus was unable to conclude contract negotiations, which has resulted in alternative arrangements being put in place “on an interim basis”.
Clare’s Fianna Fáil TD Cathal Crowe has slammed the NTA for putting livelihoods at risk amid a global health crisis.
The move has led to serious concern among passengers of the Clare Bus service, who say they are not only losing their transport link but also a friendly community of drivers who knew them and their needs.
Stephen McGuire in O’Callaghan’s Mills is one of those affected by the news and says his contact to date with the caretaker operator of the service has been worrying.
Another of the long-term passengers that has been devastated by the news is James Harrison, who also lives in O’Callaghan’s Mills.
He feels that if Clare Bus isn’t restored to the original service, he’ll be effectively locked inside his home with very little options.
And Clare Bus passenger John Moloney in Tulla has this message for NTA management, as negotiations continue with a view to saving their service.